Getting Hold of the Economic Facts

At some point, there is going to be a great default in Washington and other central governments. When that happens, authority is going to move out of the central government and back down the hierarchical chain of authority that every society has. Authority is going to move closer to where the government can collect the taxes. That means at the state level, but ultimately it means the city and county level. The worse the contraction of the federal government is, the greater the comparative amount of authority that will be lodged in local bureaucracies…

This is the situation around the world today. There are plenty of local snakes, but they are dwarfed by the power of the dragons. The dragons today extract an enormous percentage of the private sector’s wealth. It is far worse outside the United States than inside. Western Europe is a truly welfare state society, and it is going to go bankrupt first.[1]

People get used to things, and one thing they get used to is the continuation of apparently stable times. We think that things will just continue as they have, and often that is really the case.

But what we don’t factor in, is that what can’t go on forever, surely won’t. And when we’re talking about government debt, it surely cannot go on forever.

I expect that the West will get a taste of serious economic pain, over the next decade. It will probably begin in Europe, because that’s where the welfare state really started, way back in the 1880’s in Germany, under Bismarck.

Europe’s been in economic trouble for a decade or longer, but when governments can borrow, well! Who can know you’re in trouble, when you seem to have an endless line of economic credit? Credit’s been what’s kept governments out of drama, and this has been a worldwide phenomena, but you can only paper over the problems, for a while.

Not only have governments been dangerously in debt, but they’ve been encouraging banks to lend, too. Is this a case of “Birds of a feather…?” Central banks around the world have provided super low interest rates, which are an open invitation for nieve and trusting people to borrow unwisely. This has been petrol on the fire of economic insanity, because the worse thing to give poor people is borrowed money, when they have little hope of paying it back when their conditions deteriorate; and they will.

All of this can and has led to a snowballing situation. It’s already inevitable, it’s just partially invisible, if you don’t know where to look. At some point soon, the sound of thunder on the snow-covered mountains will be heard, and it won’t be any old storm coming.

What can be done?

People had better realise the fallibility of governments, and government promises. Political leaders can make promises now, but can these promises be made good, three years from now? We’ll see about that.

As Rushdoony commented,

A state can be either ministerial, administering God’s law-word to the people as God’s servant or His ministry of justice, or it can be legislative, creating its own ideas of law and justice. The modern state is openly legislative; it has usurped God’s prerogatives of determining law and justice.[2]

Be prepared for the worst. That potentially means high rates of unemployment, a property market that has taken a serious hit and is down 30% or more, and a lot of people in serious need.

In such a crisis, there is also opportunity. Firstly, for Christians and churches to be ready to step in and assist their own people, and others with basic needs. This inevitably leads to a shift in power in the community.

Why? Because power flows to those who takes responsibility. When churches get serious about wisely helping the needy through the tithe, people notice this. Over time, welfare shifts from being a government responsibility, to an individual and church one. The church develops or grows in responsibility, becoming a caring, authoritative institution once again.

But 95% of churches will be utterly unprepared for this kind of action. Becoming a kind of social safety net has not been something that ranks high on the scale of priority in most preacher’s sermons, let alone their priorities. It’s not a popular, let alone a riveting subject, and its hard work.

Widows, orphans, the fatherless and the alien (the individuals whom the Bible specifically singles out for our care) rarely see that care in church. And that means lots of challenging and painful change, all of which is going to be absolutely necessary. But many churches may well avoid this.

Churches could be swamped with needy people wanting help. So what’s needed is far-seeing people who are willing to initiate the godly change that’s required. And this all begins with the tithe, along with family responsibility.

Secondly, wise investors can pick up bargains in times of crisis. People get over -committed, and have to get out-fast. They’re ready to sell what they have to, at reduced prices. Who’ll be there to buy?

Conclusion:

The church needs principled leadership. In a crisis, principled leadership is in high demand, and the widows, orphans, fatherless and aliens may be depending on it.

Will they find it in the church? This might depend on you and your family.

So then while we have opportunity, let us do good to all people, and especially to those who are of the household of the faith (Gal.6:10).

 

[1] Gary North, (www.garynorth.com), “The Dragon and the Snakes,” 8/8/2017.

[2] Rousas Rushdoony, “The Gospel of John,” 2000, p.177.

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